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getting in touch with my inner colorado girl


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Quarter life celebration

I had this moment of panic a few weeks ago, when I realized that my life consisted of driving a Toyota Corolla, attending retirement luncheons at Red Lobster and working a desk job in the suburbs. (I ate three cheddar biscuits for those wondering. They were delicious.) The even scarier part of all of this was that I like that this is my life. I just never really saw myself this settled before the age of 30. Anyway, I’m about to turn 25, and instead of having a quarter life crisis, I’m deciding to just have a quarter life celebration. Really when I look over my life these past 25 years, I’m much more impressed by how much I have my act together than I am disappointed by the things I don’t have.

23rd birthday. When I was still young.

My early 20s have definitely been full of a lot of learning. I lived in Honduras, Atlanta, and Denver. I spent five weeks of unemployment in Colorado just hiking by myself and rediscovering my love of mountains. I earned a Master’s degree and was an exceedingly lucky person that had a full-time job lined up before graduation.  I made the major life decision to stay in Colorado long-term instead of moving to DC for a career actually related to my degree. I decided I wanted to learn to ski and did it. I made amazing post-college friends. I came to terms with the fact that I hate cooking, and I’m happier eating cereal and humus.

Do I have everything figured out? Is my life perfect? Absolutely not! But when I focus on the life that I have made for myself, I actually think the first 25 years have turned out pretty well. It’s so tempting to compare your life to someone else’s or think about the things your life doesn’t have. We’re all guilty of that. At least for my birthday though, I refuse to do it. The glass is half-full, and there is no reason for my birthday to involve a quarter life crisis. I’m going to be happy with exactly where I am right now. 25 years young!

25 years young!

Okay and fine I admit it. I’m not making it through my 25th birthday scot-free. I sold the Corolla and now drive an SUV named Xena. Xena the Warrior Princess. Fitting right?


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DC chilling

“DC really only started becoming cool like five years ago,” my friend Liz explained as we ate red velvet cake at Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington DC this past Saturday.  I have no what DC was like pre-2008, but I was definitely impressed with how much fun I had during my brief time in the nation’s capital. After my time in Charlottesville rock climbing and getting bad haircuts, I took the Amtrak train back up to DC for a weekend visit with my graduate school and internship friends.

Red velvet cake and my long lost friend from my Carter Center internship days.

Yes, it’s crazy, most people with Master’s degrees in international relations end up in DC. Something about jobs? I’m the girl who chose mountains over a career tangibly using my Master’s degree, and so far it’s been working out pretty well, other than the fact that some of my favorite people in the world moved away from Denver. I think I’ve whined enough on this blog before about how I went to 15 going away parties last summer (I kid you not), so we’ll just move on to my weekend activities!

I got to see so many of my friends from Denver like my old roommate Shreya, my ski amigo Jonathan, my Bachelor watching partner Sarah, my former mansion living friend Matt and my friend Liz who I interned with at The Carter Center in fall 2010. Things that make me feel old: the fact that my internship at The Carter Center was two years ago this fall. My how things change.

Liz and I in Atlanta circa 2010. Still miss that fall foliage.

Vintage grad school. The first night I met the ladies who changed my life forever.

My grad school and Atlanta friends have been with me through a lot of those crazy figuring out life in your early 20s ups and downs, and it was like a breath of fresh air to see these folks again. They definitely showed me a good time in DC too. On Friday night we went to a bar called ChurchKey, which had a stellar beer list and cool atmosphere. As a Colorado beer aficionado, I definitely appreciated that.

I woke up to the next morning to homemade chocolate chip pancakes by Shreya.  It was a good thing we had such a hearty breakfast, because we had a big day ahead. After getting ready, we headed out to the Eastern Market, an open air market held on the weekends.  There was a lot of awesome jewelry, furniture and food.  It was every girl’s dream and every guy’s nightmare basically. We saw a lot of poor boyfriends being dragged around the market who looked fairly miserable. We then had lunch at Founding Farmers and did the touristy, monument loop.

I’m so glad the guy who took this picture made sure the marble base of the statue was featured. Clearly that’s what we went to the Lincoln memorial for.

Intervention time. Thanks to Liz for including Abe!

MLK Jr., one of the newest monuments.

Jefferson Memorial.

Me and TJ.

DC chilling.

I’m pretty sure we walked seven miles during the day.  On Saturday night we all went out to a wine bar and Bar Pilar in the U Street area. I sound really knowledgeable about DC right? I had some good teachers. We had a late night again that ended with some jumbo pizza slices, but we still rallied the next morning for another full day of DC before I had to fly back to Denver.

Champions.

 Kayaking the Mac.

We made one final stop in Georgetown for cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes before heading back to the airport. The frosting on the cupcakes was light, fluffy and amazing. My friend Sarah said she could eat it by the spoonful, and I would agree.  I felt pretty sorry for the people I sat next to on my flights back, because I can only assume I smelled like delicious Potomac River water. I also was totally the girl who brought Chipotle to eat on the plane. No shame.

I’m now back in Denver, and while my life is absolutely out West, I can’t deny that I don’t hate DC. I don’t hate DC at all, and I for sure have a lot of great friends out there. I will be back.

DC love on the Potomac River shore.

I admit it – I don’t hate DC.